Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Q&A with Andy from @Yale_HockeyBlog

Quinnipiac vs Yale earlier this season (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

In anticipation for the first round ECAC playoff series between local rivals Quinnipiac and Yale, @QHockeyBlog had a chance to catch up with Andy from @Yale_HockeyBlog about his thoughts on this series with analysis from the both of us along with our predictions of how it is going to play out. Thanks to Andy for taking the time out of his schedule to do this. Give him a follow on twitter for everything related to Yale Hockey @Yale_HockeyBlog.

@QHockeyBlog: Ok Andy. What are are your initial thoughts on this series between local rivals?

@Yale_HockeyBlog: It's a tough match-up for Yale but fortunately it's at Ingalls. Yale has always had problems with Quinnipiac. For years Yale has struggled to solve Rand Pecknold's system. Overall, I'm excited as a fan because there's always a little extra excitement when the two teams meet.

@Yale_HockeyBlog: I will direct that same question to you.

@QHockeyBlog: Outside of the location I think this is a good match-up for Quinnipiac. I think with how this season played out so far has obviously been a bit of a disappointment but to face a team like Yale in the ECAC first round is exciting for both fan bases and outside of the 2013 national championship loss and the game in early February at Ingalls this season, Quinnipiac has had a lot of success against Yale which I think helps.

@QHockeyBlog: In your opinion does Yale winning against Quinnipiac at Ingalls get the monkey off the back a bit or is it not even a factor?

@Yale_HockeyBlog: I'm not sure. I was just thinking about that. Yale's players do care a lot about games against Quinnipiac, though not as much as against Harvard or as much as Quinnipiac players do. Honestly, I'm not as big a believer in those type of psychological elements but it certainly felt like there was something particularly difficult with Quinnipiac. I can envision scenarios in which it's hugely consequential and other scenarios in which it's meaningless. Part of the problem is that neither Keith Allain nor the Yale players ever let on how they feel about games against Quinnipiac. They openly acknowledge the the Harvard game is big for them. But they never say the Quinnipiac game matters more than any other game which I don't really believe.

Funny story about this. Yale winning this year was a monkey off my back. Before the 2013 national title game, I made a deal with god that I'd be totally okay if Quinnipiac beat Yale in every game for the next 10 years as long as Yale won in Pittsburgh. And when they won, I actually began mentally preparing myself for the next 10 years of losses. Turns out, it only took 5 years for them to finally beat Quinnipiac again! I got off light and I'm still ready for another 5 years if necessary.

@QHockeyBlogWhat are some of the match-ups in this series that interest you the most?

@Yale_HockeyBlog: Honestly, I would have taken any of the other non-bye teams before Quinnipiac. Match-ups have been really important for Yale in the past few years because of the differing levels of skill and style of play on each line. Since the line shake-ups in January, Yale has matched Stevens-Hitchcock-Welsh with opposing teams top line. They've gotten killed in opposing rinks where teams have been able to change the match-ups. Most notably Princeton who matched Verroneau-Kuffner against the Smith brothers who simply couldn't handle the assignment. However, when they've been able to match the Hitchcock line with the opposing #1 line, they've been pretty effective shutting them down. My guess is that line will take the ice every time Tufto's line is out there. The added bonus is that this means Allain is able to match Snively-DeMontis-O'Neil with a less talented line making it much more difficult to shut Snively down. And I think Allain is pretty comfortable matching Palecco-E. Smith-T. Hart with just about any third line in the league.

@Yale_HockeyBlog: I will redirect that same question to you.

@QHockeyBlog: Honestly my my biggest match-up concern is Yale having the last change. Keith Allain will be able to as you said match up on the Tufto line along with putting the Snively line in a good situation against the 3rd and 4th lines of Quinnipiac which have not been very good at times. Rand Pecknold is going to have find ways to get the Tufto line favorable match-ups in this series because that has been the most dependable and dominant line for Quinnipiac this season.

@QHockeyBlog: Would you say that Yale's biggest concerns are who is going to be in goal and will they get enough scoring in this series?

@Yale_HockeyBlog: Those are two of the top ones. With regards to the goalie situation, it depends on how Allain plays it. My hope is that he goes with Kaczperski. Since January, the goalies have been splitting time with Tucker playing on Fridays and Kaczperski playing on Saturdays. And Kaczperski has been pretty definitively better. It's not pretty but he gets the job done. He is 5th in the nation with a .936 save percentage and is 9th in goals against at 1.92 per game. Further, his rebound control has been a big upgrade over Tucker. In fairness, Kaczperski's numbers have been buoyed by playing weaker teams (though he has done very well against Princeton and Cornell the past two weekends).

If, however, Allain splits time again, I'll be a lot less comfortable. Tucker will start the series on Friday, Kaczperski will play on Saturday and whoever Allain likes more will play Sunday. It's also conceivable that Allain will go with whoever looked best in practice during the past week. It's unlikely but he's done it before.

I'm not all that worried about the scoring. Snively has been burning hot and they have so much depth that at least 1-2 players will contribute. Hitchcock, T. Hart, Stevern, the Smith brothers, Palecco and O'Neil are all capable of contributing. Actually my top two concerns are 1.) situational defense and 2) the power play.

@Yale_HockeyBlog: What are your top 2-3 concerns for Quinnipiac going into the series?

@QHockeyBlog: For me my top 2-3 concerns are who is going to score outside of guys like Tufto, MacMaster, Whelan, Pieper and Priskie. They need others to step up especially if the Tufto line is matched up with Yale's best defensive line. The 3rd and 4th lines for Quinnipiac have not been consistent all year and I would say the 2nd line has struggled at times. Players that need to step up are Nick Jermain, Matt Forchuk and Craig Martin. This team struggles when they don't score goals as it has a trickle down effect to the defense and the goal-tending. The defense has to help with the offense at times which can leave them giving up odd man rushes and struggles with gap control at times. Also is Quinnipiac going to get consistent goal-tending in this series because they are going to need it if they are going to win. This was suppose to be a team strength with both Shortridge and Petruzzelli backstopping them and they have both struggled at times.

@QHockeyBlog: What type of crowd atmosphere should we expect in this series? I'm expecting a good amount of Quinnipiac fans as tickets were still available as early as Monday.

@Yale_HockeyBlog: It should be decent turn-out. Most Yale fans are families with young kids and retirees. However classes will be in session. In years when they get a first round bye, it's spring break and no students show up. That said, it's midterm season so the student turn out might be a bit depressed. I'm hopeful for the Yale band on Friday but we'll see. I'm sure Quinnipiac fans will come out in force.

@Yale_HockeyBlog: Who do you expect to start in goal? And what should Yale anticipate from him?

@QHockeyBlog: That's an excellent question and frankly we probably won't know the answer until Friday evening when warm-ups take place. Rand Pecknold never tips his hand and never puts the goaltenders in the order of starting on the line charts. Both Shortridge and Petruzzelli played against Yale this season with Shortridge shutting out Yale in Hamden and Petruzzelli giving up 3 goals in a loss at Ingalls. If I had to guess I think Shortridge gets the start on Friday night due to a better season. He also has playoff experience from a season ago that probably will be factor as he helped lead the team to the semifinals in Lake Placid.

@QHockeyBlog: What are your three keys for Yale would in this series?

@Yale_HockeyBlog: 1. Situational defense. This team has struggled on defense the past two years largely because of this. What I mean by this is that they don't make many mistakes but when they do, they're big. It's like all of a sudden the defense collapses. And Quinnipiac has been phenomenal at taking advantage of this over the past 4 years. Pecknold's system seem to cause these breakdowns more than any other team. Last week against Dartmouth was BRUTAL. I actually wasn't all that impressed by what Dartmouth had to offer but Yale kept shooting themselves in the foot allowing for A++ opportunities. It's been a huge problem for them.

2. Passing. Over the past two years, Yale has been playing much more individualistic, run and gun hockey. They rarely pass on odd-man rushes and don't create plays as a unit. But a few weeks ago that changed. They started passing and playing as a team. As a result, the offense has been much, much more dynamic. It's as simple as one-touch passes to create plays as a unit, not a single individual trying to do everything on their own.

3. Secondary scoring. Somebody other than Snively needs to step up each game. O'Neil did it against Harvard. Ted Hart did it against Union. Evan Smith did it against Princeton. Palecco did it against St. Lawrence. Honestly it doesn't matter who, as long as someone steps up.

@Yale_HockeyBlog: Pushing that same question to you with regards to the three keys for Quinnipiac in this series?

@QHockeyBlog: 1. Quinnipiac must get strong goal-tending whether it is from Andrew Shortridge or Keith Petruzzelli. Whenever Quinnipiac has had success in the past its due to the goal-tenders they have had starting with Eric Hartzell in 2013 and Michael Garteig in 2014, 2015 and 2016. One of them needs to be a rock in this series especially if this is a low scoring series in which it could be.

2.  Quinnipiac has to be able to find favorable match-ups in this series especially with that Tufto line along with finding other players that can step up and score for the Bobcats. Timely line changes are going to be key and catching Yale in a bad change could swing a game. They also need to identify weaknesses on the Yale that they can exploit for their advantage.

3. Play smart, disciplined hockey and stay out of the penalty box. Even though the Yale power play is the worst in the country, you don't want to give any team man advantages especially when they are at home and have the last change.

@Yale_HockeyBlog: It time for the predictions so who do you have.

@QHockeyBlog: While I think the talent level is pretty close between these two teams and the fact that Yale has the ever important final change, I am going to go with Quinnipiac in 3. This series should go the distance. Somehow I think Quinnipiac finds a way offensively to get some timely goals. I feel the crowd could help Quinnipiac out as well and the past success to me is a factor and that they just match up really well against the Bulldogs.  It won't be easy but nothing in the ECAC ever is.

@Yale_HockeyBlogI agree totally with everything you said. And for my prediction: the fan in me wants to say Yale in 3. But if I were putting money on it, I'd say Quinnipiac in 3. Yale has always struggles with Pecknold's system. They haven't solved that riddle since 2013 and, if I'm really being honest, since 2011.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Marcus Chorney commits to Quinnipiac

Marcus Chorney during his time with Shattuck St. Mary's

The Quinnipiac Bobcats picked up another commitment today in 1997 born defenseman Marcus Chorney from the Amarillo Bulls in the North American Hockey League according to a source. He eventually formally announced his intention to attend Quinnipiac a day later on February 28th. It will be for the 2018-2019 season as Chorney ages out of juniors as a 1997 born player. A native of Hastings, Minnesota, the 5'11 170 pound right shot defenseman is in his second season in the NAHL. In 47 games played for Amarillo he has 21 points (5 goals, 16 assists) with 34 penalty minutes and is a minus 4 rating. He split the 2016-2017 between the Minot Minotauros and Amarillo Bulls playing in 38 games and recording 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) with 18 penalty minutes and a minus 7 rating.

I’m very honored and proud to announce my commitment to play hockey and further my education at Quinnipiac University. Thank you to all of my family, friends, teammates, and coaches who have helped push me along the way!

A three year alum of the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary's school in Minnesota, Chorney is the son of former three year NHL veteran Marc Chorney and brother of current Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Taylor Corney. Both is father and brother are former NCAA collegiate players who played hockey at North Dakota. Chorney's commitment brings a total of 10 defenseman for the 2018-2019 season but its possible the team could lose players like Chase Priskie or Karlis Cukste early to professional contracts and they are at least preparing for that to possibly happen. Congrats to Marcus and his family and welcome to the Quinnipiac community and to Bobcat Nation.


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Monday, February 26, 2018

In the Pipeline: 2/26/2018

Quinnipiac concluded the regular season with a split of its North Country games beating St. Lawrence on Friday 3-2 before falling a night later 4-2 to Clarkson. In turn the Bobcats finished their first losing regular season in the Division I history of the Quinnipiac program. The loss cost them home ice in the first round of the ECAC tournament and they now will take the short trek down Whitney Avenue for a Best of 3 match-up with rival Yale for their first postseason meeting since 2014 when Quinnipiac swept Yale en route to a return trip to the NCAA tournament. Over the weekend there was a handful of Quinnipiac commits that had good weeks so let's take a look at how some of them did.

Justin Robbins #30 getting ready to make a save (photo by USHL)

USHL commits

Justin Robbins had the best weekend of his season when he went 1-0 with 0.97 goals against average with a .962 save percentage. He posted his first career shutout on Sunday in a 3-0 over Central Illinois. He was named the USHL goaltender of the week for his strong play.

Wyatt Bongiovanni returned from injury after being the past six weeks and had one assist in two games played. In 28 games played he has 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists).

William Fallstrom had one assist this week for the Fargo Force in two games played. In 43 games, the Sweden native has 28 points (8 goals, 20 assists).

Zach Metsa picked up one assist in three games played for the Central Illinois Flying Aces. In 46 games played between Central Illinois and Youngstown, Metsa has 16 points (1 goal, 15 assists).

Dom Fensore scored his first USHL goal for the U-17 National Developmental team in a 7-4 win over Central Illinois. In 22 USHL games he has 11 points (1 goal, 10 assists).

BCHL commits

Ethan De Jong had one assist in a just a single game this past week for the Prince George Spruce Kings. In 50games played on the season he has 63 points (17 goals, 46 assists). He is currently 5th in scoring in the BCHL and averaging 1.26 points per game.

T.J. Friedmann had 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in two games played for the Victoria Grizzlies. The St. Louis, Missouri native has had points in 11 of his last 12 games. On the season in 58 games played he has 57 points (22 goals, 35 assists).

Desi Burgart had 3 assists this past week in three games played for the Surrey Eagles. In 53 games played he has 40 points (22 goals, 28 assists).

NCDC commits

Quinnipiac picked up its most recent commit on Friday in late 1999 defenseman Cam Boudreau. Over the weekend Boudreau picked up a goal in a 3 games played for the Junior Bruins. In 39 games played he has 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists) and is ranked 117th for North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting List.

Connor Tait has a 3 point game in a 7-1 win over the New Jersey Rockets on Friday. In 38 games played this season for the Jersey Hitmen, Tait has 15 points (7 goals, 8 assists).

AJHL commits

Matt Cassidy had one assist for the Brooks Bandits in three games played over the past week. On the season, Cassidy has 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 49 games played.

Prep Schools/High Schools

Matthew Fawcett had one goal in two games played. He is finished the regular second in scoring with 67 points (28 goals, 39 assists) behind Thayer Academy's Jay O'Brien (Providence commit) who has been the best player all season in New England Prep School hockey. It's now on to the small school New England Prep tournament for Fawcett.

Salisbury defenseman Peter Dilberatore picked up one goal this week as Salisbury finished the prep season 23-1-1 and will be the #1 in the Elite New England Prep School tournament.

John Campomenosi of Don Bosco Prep had 3 assists in a 10-0 round of 16 win in the New Jersey state tournament. He has 26 points (7 goals, 19 assists) for a Don Bosco team that is favored to win the state championship.

Ethan Phillips (holding trophy) & P.J. Fletcher #8 celebrate the South Kent School win

Midget Commits

Victor Czerneckianair had four goals and four assists in four games this past weekend for the U-15 Selects team at South Kent. In 53 games played this season he had 75 points (34 goals, 41 assists). The Southington, CT native is 3rd on the team in scoring and a possible tryout candidate for the NDTP program.

Ethan Phillips and P.J Fletcher both helped the South Kent Selects U-16 team to the USPHL U-16 championship over the weekend. Phillips and Fletcher both had a goal and two assists in two games.

Jack Silich had two goals and three assists this weekend for the Chicago Mission in three games played in a state tournament round robin. On the season he has 87 points (32 goals, 55 assists).

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Quinnipiac falls in regular season finale 4-2 to Clarkson

Quinnipiac at Clarkson (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats concluded the regular season falling on the road 4-2 to the #10 Clarkson Golden Knights on Saturday night. For the first time in the Division I history of the Quinnipiac hockey program they will finish a regular season below the .500 mark. Coming into the night the Bobcats needed to win to wrap up home ice. Coupled with their loss to Clarkson all three teams that Quinnipiac was jockeying for position won knocking Quinnipiac down to the 9th seed and a trip the Ingalls next week to face Yale. This is the first time since the 2005-2006 in Quinnipiac's inaugural ECAC season that they have not hosted a playoff series.

Quinnipiac got off to a good start when Tanner MacMaster fed Kevin Duane on the doorstep for goal. The lead was short lived as Kelly Summers found a rebound in front and banged it past Andrew Shortridge (21 saves and an assist). Coming into the game the key was the minimize the production of the Clarkson sophomore like of Rempal, Brosseau and Sturm and tonight that was clearly not the case.

With Brosseau and Sturm assisting on the first goal, that trio would go on to score the next three Clarkson goals and combine for 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) on the night. Just 27 seconds into the second period Sheldon Rempal sent a pass from the half wall to Nico Sturm who ripped a wrist shot high past Shortridge. Ten minutes later Clarkson got away with what looked to be an offside by Devin Brosseau who has crossed into the offensive clearly before the puck got in. Just seconds after that Rempal fed Brosseau who made a move around Karlis Cukste and back handed it past Shortridge. The play was reviewed but the goal was upheld. You be the judge here. 

Quinnipiac at Clarkson (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

Quinnipaic got within a goal with under three minutes to play in the second on the power play when Chase Priskie absolutely tee'd off on a shot from the face-off circle for his team leading 7th power play goal and 9th overall. Odeen Tufto picked up an assist to record his 39th point of the season. Even with a few power play opportunities in the third period this was as close at the Bobcats came as Nico Sturm sealed Clarkson's 20th win of the season with the empty net goal.

It's now on to the ECAC playoffs where Quinnipiac will face Yale in a playoff series for the first time since 2014 when the Bobcats swept the Bulldogs in Hamden ending Yale's chance to defend its national championship. Quinnipiac is looking to keep winning to avoid their first losing season 1995-1996 when they went 11-12-4 at the Division II level.

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Scouting the Enemy: Clarkson Golden Knights

It's the final game of the regular season and Quinnipiac is in control of its destiny for a home playoff series. All they need is a win against a slumping Clarkson team that is 1-5-4 in its last ten games. These two teams played at the beginning of the month in which Quinnipiac raced to a 3-0 lead after two periods before winning 4-1. Clarkson is currently 3rd in the ECAC and needs either a win or tie or a Harvard loss or tie to clinch the #3 seed. A Quinnipiac win gives the Bobcats home ice as either the 6th or 7th seed depending on the result in the Colgate game. A loss by Quinnipiac could create chaos and send them on the road next weekend.

Clarkson Key Players: Sheldon Rempal (F), Nico Sturm (F), Devin Brosseau (F), Jack Jacome (F), Josh Dickinson (F), Terrance Amorosa (D), Kelly Summers (D), Jake Kielly (G)

The Golden Knights have fallen a bit recently especially on offense as in the last ten games of the season they are only scoring 2.3 goals per game. Collectively on the season they are scoring 3.12 goals per game but for much of the season they were in the top 5 in scoring. Did Clarkson peak too early offensively? Its possible. Sheldon Rempal (38 points) went through a seven games stretch with just two points has started to heat back up for Clarkson with 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) in his last three games. Nico Sturm has been cold with only 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) in his last eight games while Devin Brosseau only has 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist) in his last eight games as well. For Clarkson to have any success moving forward they need that line to carry them going forward like they did earlier in the season. Freshman Jack Jacome (26 points) continues to push Quinnipiac's Odeen Tufto for ECAC rookie of the year as most of his points have come in conference play. The Clarkson power play is number one in the country at 27.74% (38-of-137) so playing disciplined and staying out of the box is key for Quinnipiac.

Clarkson has continued to excel defensively though the goals allowed has crept up to 1.91. When they met at the beginning of the month this number was at 1.54. The talent is strong but were they due to regress at some point as giving up just a goal and half plus seemed unsustainable all season long. Seniors Terrance Amorosa (plus 13) and Kelly Summers (plus 10) have been good and let a quality defensive core. The Golden Knights are strong on the penalty kill at almost 85.19% (115-of-135) good for 8th overall in the country. Quinnipiac showed that they can exploit the Golden Knights on defense putting four up on them at the beginning of the month. They will need to do it again if they want home ice next weekend.

Goaltender Jake Kielly has had a mini slump in the month of February. He has seen his goals against rise to 1.85 while his save percentage drop to .929 still impressive numbers. He has let in some goals he shouldn't which has contributed to some struggles. At this point you have to wonder if he is a bit fatigued playing in 32 games so far this season. Granted Clarkson will have a first round bye which should give him much needed rest but something has not been right for a month now and its not the time to have struggles with the playoffs set to commence.

Clarkson despite its struggles over the past month is still a tough team to beat at Cheel Arena as they have gone 8-2-5 there this season. However Quinnipiac is 5-1-1 in their last seven trips to Cheel Arena so the Bobcats have had a lot of success in the past in Potsdam.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Quinnipiac inches closer to home playoff series with 3-2 win over St. Lawrence

Quinnipiac at St. Lawrence (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats went on the road Friday night and secured two massive ECAC points in their quest for a first round playoff series with a 3-2 win over the St. Lawrence Saints at Appleton Arena in Canton, New York. Coming into this weekend, Quinnipiac was on the outside looking in for a home playoff series but after the win tonight and some results that went its way its currently tied with Princeton in the 7th/8th spots in the conference.

Three Quinnipiac players recorded multi point games in Nick Jermain (2 goals), Brogan Rafferty (2 assists) and Odeen Tufto (2 assists). Tufto became just the 4th Quinnipiac freshman to have 30 assists in one season behind Brian Hebert (32 in 1999-00), Bryan Leitch (21, 2005-06) and Matthew Peca (31, 2011-12). Quinnipiac opened the scoring just 2:19 into the first period when Nick Jermain banged home a rebound from St. Lawrence goaltender Arthur Brey.

Despite getting out to an early lead and controlling play for much of the first two periods Quinnipiac found themselves down 2-1 after two periods. "We were resilient, said head coach Rand Pecknold. I think we had as many grade A's [chances] as we had all season in the first two periods and we had only one goal. Brey was playing well and he made a lot of save and we hit him a few times too when we should have buried it so it was frustrating, but we just stayed the course and found a way."

Trailing late in third period with the clock set to go under seven minutes Quinnipiac found itself on the power play. Just a minute in the man advantage Brogan Rafferty fed Chase Priskie who ripped a one timer from the lower left circle past Brey for the game tying goal. A little more than five minutes later Nick Jermain scored the game winning goal from a tough angle that even surprised coach Pecknold in the post game. "You know what I have no idea. I was talking to someone so I don't know how it went in."

Quinnipiac at St. Lawrence (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

In between the Priskie and Jermain goal Quinnipiac had to kill off a slashing penalty to Devin Moore. "Chase had a big one to tie it up, added Pecknold and then we won it late. We had a big penalty kill late with some blocks. I thought the guys played well and deserved to win."

Andrew Shortridge (28 saves) was strong for Quinnipiac tonight who improved to 14-15-4 on the season (9-10-2 in ECAC play). They conclude the ECAC regular season tomorrow night against the Clarkson Golden Knights.

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Cameron Boudreau commits to Quinnipiac

Cameron Boudreau #22 with Central Catholic (photo by Julia Malakie)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats picked up another commitment for the future today as they received a verbal commitment from late 1999 born defenseman Cameron Boudreau of the Junior Bruins of the NCDC. Boudreau is a 6'0, 178 pound left shot defenseman from Salem, New Hampshire who is currently ranked #117 for North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

Proud to announce my commitment to play college hockey at Quinnipiac University! Thankful for my family, friends, and coaches that have supported me along the way!

3.75⭐️ is an excellent skater. Strong on his skates with four-way mobility. Quick to defend with strength and an active stick. Anticipates well and makes good decisions at the lines. His outlets are crisp and accurate. Has a heavy shot.

In his first season in the NCDC with the Junior Bruins he has played in 37 games recording 10 points (1 goal, 9 assists). He is a two year alum of The Governor's Academy (MA) along with playing for the Neponset Valley River Rats short season U16 team in 2015-2016 and the Boch Militia short season U18 team in 2016-2017. Prior to attending the The Governor's Academy he played for Central Catholic High School (MA) in the 2014-2015 season.

He was drafted in the 2017 USHL Phase II draft in the 21st round by the Dubuque Fighting Saints and was a 2016 10th round pick by the Moncton Wildcats in the QMJHL draft. It's likely he will need another season of junior hockey so I have him projected for the 2019-2020 recruiting class. Congrats to Cameron and welcome to Bobcat Nation.


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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Scouting the Enemy: St. Lawrence Saints

The final weekend of the ECAC regular season is upon us. Quinnipiac now heads to North Country to take on St. Lawrence Friday and Clarkson Saturday. Playoff implications ride on the results for this weekend's games as Quinnipiac could finish anywhere from 5th (unlikely) to 9th (more probable than not). The Bobcats most recently played St. Lawrence three weeks ago beating them at home 5-2. The Saints ever since winning back to back games have lost five of six and have the most losses in program history with 23. Quinnipiac's last visit to Appleton Arena saw them come away with a three game win in the 2017 ECAC Quarterfinals. 

St. Lawrence Key Players: Jacob Pritchard (F), Mike Marnell (F), Joe Sullivan (F), Carson Gicewicz (F), Alex Gilmour (F), Nolan Gluchowksi (D), Jake Stevens (D),  Arthur Brey (G)

The St. Lawrence offense in the last three games has put up only one goal total. On the season they are averaging 2.16 goals per game which is 5th worst in college hockey and only the 3rd worst in the ECAC with RPI and Brown only worse in the conference. Jacob Pritchard (19 points) and Mike Marnell (18 points) along with sophomore Carson Gicewicz (18 points) fuel the limited offense for the Saints. Sophomore Alex Gilmour's 10 goals tie him for the team lead with Marnell. Senior Joe Sullivan has 14 points. The Saints power played is in the bottom third at just over 15% (18-of-118). This team is so starved for goals that three goals a game is an accomplishment.

It's been a tough year defensively for St. Lawrence. At 3.41 goals allowed per game they rank 51st in the country in that category and really haven't made a huge improvement. Freshman Jake Stevens has probably been the teams best defender to this point with 12 points along with being a plus 2. Senior Nolan Gluchowksi has 18 points and is a minus seven. Inexperience is a major issue back there and it has shown this season. The St. Lawrence penalty kill is dead last in college hockey at 74.32% (110-of-148). With Quinnipiac's power play showing signs of life in the second half of the season drawing penalties against the Saints will be key.

Goaltender Arthur Brey has shown slight improvement from the last time these two teams played. His goals against average has dropped to 3.50 while his save percentage has risen to .902. His win/loss record is not very good at 4-21-1 but not all the blame can go on Brey. They can't score goals and the inexperience on defense has played a large role. Brey and the rest of the team are still playing hard and that is all you can ask for at this point if you are fan of St. Lawrence hockey.

Quinnipiac needs this game if it has any chance of getting a home playoff series. Lose this one and while they aren't officially eliminated from home ice they would need to win against Clarkson along with getting some serious help from other ECAC teams.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

In the Pipeline: 2/19/2018

Quinnipiac wrapped up its regular season home slate with a split of the weekend. They lost on Friday to Union 5-2 before rebounding with a 4-1 win on Saturday night against RPI in what could be the team's final home game of the regular season. Currently in the 9th spot in the ECAC standings, Quinnipiac would play a road first round playoff series for the first time since the 2006 season which was the Bobcats first in the ECAC. Quinnipiac needs to win and get some help if it wants to return home for a playoff series on York Hill. Tiebreakers could come into factor in the final weekend with so many teams bunched up in the middle. Quinnipiac is on to North Country for games against St. Lawrence and Clarkson to wrap up the regular season. In one week we will know where the Bobcats are heading for the playoffs but for now lets take a look at how some of the future Bobcats did this past week.

T.J. Friedmann, photo by Darren Stone, Times Colonist

BCHL Commits

Ethan De Jong had two more assists in three games this past week for the Prince George Spruce Kings. In 49 games played on the season he has 62 points (17 goals, 45 assists). He is currently 5th in scoring in the BCHL and averaging 1.27 points per game.

T.J. Friedmann had 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in three games played for the Victoria Grizzlies. The St. Louis, Missouri native has had points in 11 of his last 12 games. On the season in 56 games played he has 54 points (21 goals, 33 assists).

Desi Burgart of the Surrey Eagles had two points this past week (1 goal, 1 assist) in three games played for the Surrey Eagles. In 50 games played he has 47 points (22 goals, 25 assists).

National Developmental Program

Dom Fensore was part of the 2017 U-17 5 Nation Tournament Champions. In four games played with the United States going undefeated Fensore had a goal and three assists. It's the third tournament win for the U-17's this season following the World Hockey Challenge in Canada and another tournament Russia.

USHL commits

William Fallstrom had one assist this week for the Fargo Force in two games played. In 41 games, the Sweden native has 27 points (8 goals, 19 assists).

Zach Metsa picked up two assists in three games played for the Central Illinois Flying Aces. In 43 games played between Central Illinois and Youngstown, Metsa has 15 points (1 goal, 14 assists).

Justin Robbins made 26 saves in a 3-2 loss for the Chicago Steel to the Des Moines Buccaneers. On the season he is 4-4 with a 4.04 goals against average and an .869 save percentage in 12 games played.

AJHL commits

Matt Cassidy had a goal and an assists for the Brooks Bandits in three games played over the past week. On the season, Cassidy has 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists) in 46 games played.

Prep Schools/High Schools

Matthew Fawcett had another very good week for the Winchendon School. In two games played he had 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists). He is now second in scoring with 66 points (27 goals, 39 assists) behind Thayer Academy's Jay O'Brien (Providence commit) who has been the best player all season in New England Prep School hockey.

Salisbury defenseman Peter Dilberatore has a goal and an assist this past week. He has 15 points (3 goals, 12 assists) on one of the top prep teams in New England that has only lost one game this season and is expected to be one of the favorites for the New England Prep School elite title. The Nova Scotian native is expected to be a 2018 NHL draft this June.

John Campomenosi of Don Bosco Prep had two goals and one assist in two games played this week. He has 23 points (7 goals, 16 assists) for a Don Bosco team that is 24-1-1 this season.

P.J Fletcher (photo by the South Kent School)

Midget Commits

Victor Czerneckianair had one goal this past weekend for the U-15 Selects team at South Kent. In 49 games played this season he had 67 points (30 goals, 37 assists). The Southington, CT native is 3rd on the team in scoring and a possible tryout candidate for the NDTP program.

Ethan Phillips and P.J Fletcher both helped the South Kent Selects U-16 team to two blowout wins in the USPHL playoffs outscoring their opponents 20-2. Phillips had two goals and two assists while Fletcher had three goals and two assists.

Jack Silich had one assist this weekend for the Chicago Mission in three games played. On the season he has 82 points (30 goals, 52 assists).

Austin Spiridakis had a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win for the St. Albert Tire Warehouse Raiders. He finished the season with 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) as now he heads to the playoffs. He also got a call-up for the Drumheller Dragons in the AJHL on Friday night.

Jacob Quillan finished the regular season for the Steele Subaru Major Midgets with 44 points (14 goals, 30 assists) in 35 games played. His team is in the playoffs right now and in two playoff games he has 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists).

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Quinnipiac ends home slate with 4-1 win over RPI

Quinnipiac vs. RPI (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

If this was the final home game of the 2017-2018 season, then the Quinnipiac Bobcats went out in style defeating the RPI Engineers 4-1 on Saturday night at the Frank J. Perrotti, Jr. Arena in Hamden, Conn. Prior to the game, the university honored its five soon to be graduating seniors in Kevin McKernan, Tanner MacMaster, Bo Pieper, Landon Smith and Kevin Duane. With Quinnipiac currently not in the top 8 of the ECAC with two games to play and needing help to get home ice, it's possible these five seniors might have played their final home game on York Hill.

Four different players scored for Quinnipiac who also got multi point games from both Odeen Tufto (2 assists) and Tanner MacMaster (2 assists) which was their 13th and 9th multi point games respectively this season en route it the victory. "I thought it was a good effort, said head coach Rand Pecknold. I thought Keith was great in net. The power play had three goals. We were disciplined, played hard and had a lot of passion." 

Quinnipiac took control of the game just under the five minute mark in the first period when Craig Martin ripped a shot high past Lindell Marshall on a cross ice feed from Tanner MacMaster. The Bobcats headed into the intermission up a goal and having out shot RPI 15-4. Just under the nine minute mark of the second period RPI's Jared Wilson boarded Nick Jermain on a vicious hit. Wilson stayed in the game but was assessed a five minute major penalty. A little under four minutes into the power play Quinnipiac struck when Matt Forchuk's vision set up a cross ice pass to Scott Davidson who sent a one-timer past Marshall. "It feels great when I score, said Scott Davidson. It doesn't happen very often but when it does it's awesome."

Just a minute later Quinnipiac struck again on the power play when Brandon Fortunato cleaned up a rebound off Brogan Rafferty's shot from the point for his 5th goal of the season and 4th in the last six games. "I think Brandon has been great, said Pecknold. He's been eating up a lot of minutes and doing a great job with the breakouts. He's getting better and better as a defender and it was only a matter of time before the points were going to come. He's set up a lot of players and we just haven't finished those goals so his points should be a lot higher than it is."

Quinnipiac getting ready to salute fans after 4-1 win over RPI (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

RPI broke the shutout on goaltender Keith Petruzzelli (21 saves) when Donovan Ott scored on the power play for the Engineers. A little less than five minutes later just past the 16 minute mark of the third period Quinnipiac scored on the power play on Bo Pieper's 11th goal of the season to cap the scoring and seal the win. "We bought in for 60 minutes, Pecknold added. Last night we were good for 42 or 44 minutes, whatever it was. I think we were more focused tonight with the bench real good tonight and positive and showed a lot of passion and energy." 

Quinnipiac now concludes the regular season with a trip to North Country where they will take on St. Lawrence Friday night before facing Clarkson on Saturday night. Currently in 9th place, Quinnipiac will need to win likely both games along with getting some help in the form of both Princeton and Yale both losing to get into the top 8. With only one win and two losses by both Yale or Princeton will get Quinnipiac into a top 8 spot and home ice advantage. 

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Scouting the Enemy: RPI Engineers

The last time these two teams met Quinnipiac was a ranked team and had expectations of being one of the top teams in the ECAC this season. Fast forward three plus months and Quinnipiac is currently in a fight to just get home ice in the ECAC playoffs not something that anyone thought would happen when the season begun. RPI has really struggled at times under first year coach Dave Smith and they might not reach the win total they had a season ago under former coach Seth Appert. They have had wins over a ranked Quinnipiac team at the time, Yale and recently upset #1 Cornell on the road and started the season with two ties against current national ranked team Ohio State so there are steps in the right direction. Quinnipiac and RPI are both coming off loses on Friday night to Union and Princeton respectively. 

RPI Key Players: Jacob Hayhurst (F), Evan Tironese (F), Todd Burgess (F), Viktor Liljegren (F), Billy Jerry (F), Mike Prapavessis (D), Will Reilly (D), Chase Perry (G)

The Engineer has been really bad for pretty much the entire season though they did score five times in a win over Quinnipiac earlier this season. At 2.13 goals per game they are the third worst scoring team in the country. 31 games into the season and they don't have a single player with double digit goals scored. The two best forward for RPI are Jacob Hayhurst (19 points) and Evan Tironese (15 points). They have a couple of freshman in Emil Ohrvall and Billy Jerry who each have 11 points. RPI has three defenseman in their top six in scoring which shows how much they lack at the forward position. The RPI power play is not a strength converting on just 12.8% of its chances (16-of-125)

Defensively they are the third worst defense in the country at 3.58 goals per game. The last two games have seen them give up 14 goals. Collectively the team is a minus 65 on the blue line. Not one defender is a plus player. They started out the season pretty good on defense as well in the first month of the season highlighted by a pair of 1-1 ties against nationally ranked Ohio State. Things have come apart since then where they have been many games where they haven't defended anyone. The senior captains on defense in Mike Prapavessis and Jared Wilson have contributed offensively but really have struggled defensively. I wonder if the lack of scoring by the RPI forwards is contributing to the struggles defensively as it forces the defenseman to play more offensively to make up for the lack of scoring. This is similar to what Quinnipiac has gone through this year as well. On the penalty kill, RPI also has not done its job killing off just under 77.5% (96-of-124) of penalties.

Freshman Linden Marshall has supplemented Chase Perry as the starting goaltender. The Victoria, British Columbia native has a 3.32 goals against average and a .903 save percentage in 23 games played sporting a 4-15-2 record. He's got good size in net at 6'3, 195 pounds. Marshall had his best start of the season February 3rd when he gave up one goal in a stunning upset of then #1 Cornell on the road at Lynah Rink. In his last two starts he has given up a total of 14 goals. He didn't face Quinnipiac in their last meeting so it will be up to Quinnipiac to watch the film on studying Marshall should he start again.

For Quinnipiac this is a must win if they want to finish in the top 8 of the ECAC for home ice. A win by RPI not only dampers senior night but would pretty much keep Quinnipiac out of the top 8 depending on other results around the league.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Quinnipiac falls to Union 5-2

Quinnipiac vs Union (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats came back from a 2-0 deficit only to see the Union Dutchmen score three unanswered goals in the third period to win 5-2 on Friday night at Frank J. Perrotti Jr., Arena in Hamden, Conn. In what could be the penultimate home game of the season should Quinnipiac not secure home ice in the first round of the ECAC playoffs it was too many mistakes and breakdowns that caused the Bobcats to be swept by Union for the second season in a row. 

After looking strong at times in the first period Quinnipiac gave up a power play goal in the later stages of the period by Union's Greg Campbell. "That game for us was kind of a microcosm of our season, said head coach Rand Pecknold. Late in the first we have a half empty net that we miss, don't score and then we take a bad penalty and we are down 1-0. We dominated the first period and we made two to three mistakes to get us down 1-0."

Union extended its lead to 2-0 just over three minutes into the third period on Ryan Scarfo's 18th goal of the season. Quinnipiac was again pounding shots on Union goaltender Jake Kupsky (37 saves) to no avail until freshman Matt Forchuk ripped a one timer off a feed from Craig Martin five hole past Kupsky cutting the Dutchmen lead in half. It was the second goal of the season for Forchuk who had 97 points in the Alberta Junior Hockey League a season ago. "His skill set is excellent, said Pecknold. His vision and his ability to make plays. He does it all the time in practice he led the AJHL in scoring last year. We project him eventually to be a big time scorer for us. He's coming along but he's had some struggles this year."

Alex Whelan celebrating his 14th goal (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

Quinnipiac tied the score just 56 seconds into the third period when Alex Whelan deked Kupsky out for his team leading 14th goal of the season. Odeen Tufto picked up the assist and now has points in 8 of his 10 games. Just a minute later Anthony Rinaldi scored ending the night for Andrew Shortridge (12 saves) in favor of Keith Petruzzelli (6 saves). Not even two minutes later Union scored on a breakaway by Sean Harrison which was the first chance that Petruzzelli saw since coming into the game.

A shorthanded goal by Brett Supinski was icing on the cake for Union who improved to 19-13-1 (14-5 ECAC) with the win and now have sole possession of second place. Quinnipiac fell to 12-15-4 (7-10-2 ECAC) and currently sits in 9th place in the conference standings. The loss ensures that the best Quinnipiac can finish the regular season is at .500. Quinnipiac will wrap up its regular season home slate Saturday night when they welcome RPI to Hamden for senior night as Quinnipiac will honor Kevin McKernan, Kevin Duane, Tanner MacMaster, Bo Pieper and Landon Smith who could be playing in front of the home crowd for the final time in their careers. 

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Scouting the Enemy: Union Dutchmen

Quinnipiac returns home after a short road trip where they lost to Yale for the first time since 2013 and rebounded with a win at Brown on Saturday. In what could be the final home games of season should Quinnipiac not finish in the top 8, they welcome in Union on Friday night before the senior night festivities on Saturday against RPI. The Dutchmen have had a solid season and are currently tied for second place with Clarkson. They have done a bit better than their 6th place projection in the ECAC coaches and media polls and that is a testament to what Rick Bennett has built in Schenectady. 

Union Key Players: Ryan Scarfo (F), Brett Supinski (F), Anthony Rinaldi (F), Cole Maier (F), Sebastian Vidmar (F), Vas Kolias (D), J.C. Brassard (D), Greg Campbell (D), Darion Hanson (G), Jake Kupsky (G)

The Union offense has been solid this season to a tune of 3 goals per game and that is without their two best freshman recruits [Jack Adams and Parker Foo] combining for 4 goals and 16 points. They have five players with 20 points or more including leading scorers Ryan Scarfo and Cole Maier who have 29 points apiece. Sebastian Vidmar is having a bit of a down year without Spencer Foo or Mike Vecchione but still has 28 points. Brett Supinski has 24 points while sophomore Anthony Rinaldi is second on the team with 14 goals. Union does a real good job of finding players to replace past stars and don't seem to miss a beat. A lot of it is the coaching and recruiting the right players but the Union staff seems to put this team in position to win year after year. They are an excellent power play team at 21.58% (30-of-139) which is the 3rd best among ECAC teams behind Clarkson and Princeton.

The defense which many thought would struggle has stabilized to a tune of 2.59 goals per game which is 18th nationally but 5th among ECAC teams. J.C Brassard has 18 points and is a plus 7 while Vas Kolias (16 points, minus 3) and Greg Campbell (14 points, minus 3) have been solid this season. The big addition has been freshman Joseph Campolieto who has 7 points along with being a plus 12 and leads the team in that category. He is a big reason along with another freshman in Brandon Estes in why the Union defense has been solid this season. The penalty kill of Union is about average at a shade over 80%. This is where Quinnipiac needs to take advantage on the man advantage and while the Bobcat power play hasn't been anything special this year its been very solid of late and could help them win an important game over a good opponent like Union.

The goal-tending has seen both sophomore Jake Kupsky (19 games) and freshman Darion Hanson (14 games) play a lot this season. Both have put up similar numbers in terms of goals against (2.32 for Hanson vs. 2.47 for Kupsky) and save percentage (.908 for Hanson and .918 for Kupsky). The biggest difference is the 10-4 record that Hanson has compared to the 8-9-1 record for Kupsky. Quinnipiac saw Hanson when they played up at Union back in November and he gave up only 1 goal in a 4-1 win. To me either goaltender is worthy of a start in this game and would be a challenge for the Bobcats.

With 4 games left on the ECAC schedule, Quinnipiac needs all the points they can get in order to get a home playoff series. This is clearly the tougher of the two weekend games on Friday against Union but they clearly need to come away from this game with at least a point or two before they head into senior night on Saturday.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

In the Pipeline: 2/12/2018

The streak is broken. It took almost five years but Yale finally beat Quinnipiac for the first time since the 2013 NCAA National Championship game in Pittsburgh. It was a hard fought game with Yale edging the Bobcats 3-2 at Ingalls Rink minus the Bulldogs head coach, Keith Allain who is serving as an assistant coach with Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Quinnipiac got back in the win column on Saturday night with a 3-0 win over Brown and the team currently sits at 9th in the standings but two points out of 5th place so their is a clutter of teams jockeying for position with four regular season games left. The last two weekends should be interesting to see where Quinnipiac can finish. A lot of future Bobcats had very good weeks so let's take a look at how some of them did.

Michael Lombardi (photo by Lorne White/KelownaNow)

BCHL Commits

It was a big week for a handful of the Quinnipiac commits playing out in the Western Canada Junior A league with numerous commits putting up multi point weeks.

Michael Lombardi had one goal and five assists in four games played for the West Kelowna Warriors. He has had points in 8 of his last 9 games and on the season has 40 points (15 goals, 25 assists) in 53 games played. He is closer to a point per game player after his trade to West Kelowna with 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) in 40 games played.

Ethan De Jong had another multi point weekend for the Prince George Spruce Kings. In two games played he had 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists). In 46 games played on the season he has 60 points (17 goals, 43 assists). He is currently tied for 6th in scoring in the BCHL.

T.J. Friedmann had 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in three games played for the Victoria Grizzlies. The St. Louis, Missouri native has points in his last 9 games and 11 of his last 12. On the season in 53 games played he has 49 points (20 goals, 29 assists).

Desi Burgart of the Surrey Eagles had a 4 point week (3 goals, 1 assist). He has points in five of his last six games played. On the season he has 45 points (21 goals, 24 assists) in 47 games played.

USHL commits

William Fallstrom had a 4 point week for the Fargo Force with two goals and two assists in three games played. In 39 games, the Sweden native has 26 points (8 goals, 18 assists).

Zach Metsa was recently traded to the Central Illinois Flying Aces from the Youngstown Phantoms.

Wyatt Bongiovanni is expected back in the Muskegon Lumberjacks lineup after next weekend after being out with an undisclosed injury.

Justin Robbins made 23 saves in a 5-4 win for the Chicago Steel. On the season he is 4-3 with a 4.13 goals against average and an .866 save percentage in 11 games played.

AJHL commits

Matt Cassidy picked up one assist this weekend for the Brooks Bandits. On the season, Cassidy has 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in 43 games played.

Matt Fawcett (photo by the Winchedon School)

Prep Schools/High Schools

Matthew Fawcett continues to leads New England Prep hockey in scoring with 60 points (24 goals, 36 assists) in 22 games played. He is averaging 2.73 points per game this season. A season ago he had 54 points in 27 games played and it was unknown if he would put up the same production with his line mates having graduated.

Salisbury defenseman Peter Dilberatore has 14 points (2 goals, 12 assists) on one of the top prep teams in New England. The Nova Scotian native is expected to be a 2018 NHL draft this June.

John Campomenosi of Don Bosco Prep signed his national letter of intent to play at Quinnipiac this past week.

NCDC commits

Gus Van Nes picked up another three assists this past weekend in two games played. The Dutch born forward has 56 points (16 goals, 40 assists) in 41 games played this season and is leading the NCDC in scoring by 6 points over the next closest player. Van Nes ages out of juniors this week so his season is over according to the Providence Journal's Mark Divver.

Connor Tait picked up 2 assists in 3 games played this past week for the New Jersey Hitmen NCDC team. In 34 games played, the Maryland native has 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists).

Daniel Winslow picked up 2 assists in 2 games played for the New Jersey Hitmen NCDC team. In 35 games played he has 30 points (9 goals, 21 assists).

Midget Commits

Victor Czerneckianair had two goals and one assist this past weekend for the U-15 Selects team at South Kent. In 45 games played this season he had 66 points (29 goals, 37 assists). The Southington, CT native is 3rd on the team in scoring and a possible tryout candidate for the NDTP program.

Jack Silich had a two goals and three assists this weekend for the Chicago Mission. On the season he has 81 points (30 goals, 51 assists).

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Quinnipiac shutouts Brown 3-0

Quinnipac at Brown (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats got back into the win column and earned two important ECAC points with a 3-0 win over the Brown Bears on Saturday night at Meehan Auditorium in Providence, Rhode Island. A night after suffering its first loss to Yale since 2013 with a 3-2 loss at Ingalls, Quinnipiac was in need of a split of the weekend road trip and playing perennial ECAC bottom feeder Brown helped the Bobcats fortunes. It was Quinnipiac's second shutout of Brown this season as the Bobcats won 5-0 over the Bears back on October 17th.

Three different Bobcats scored on the night including Hamden native Joe O'Connor's first career collegiate goal and point when scored on his knee sliding into the slot. O'Connor is the first Hamden native to score a goal in a game at the Division I level and first to do it for Quinnipiac since Justin Nolan in the 1997-1998 season. Andrew Shortridge (22 saves) posted his 5th shutout of the season and 6th of his career. 

"I thought we were pretty good, said head coach Rand Pecknold. The first period was a little shaky at times and we didn't play hard enough. We found a way and O'Connor gets nice goal and Shortridge was excellent. He was our best player tonight which is what you need from your goaltender."

After the sluggish first period Quinnipiac took control just 55 seconds into the period when junior defenseman Brandon Fortunato scored on a breakaway. After a slow start to the season, the transfer from Boston University has been hot in the last four games played with 4 points (3 goals, 1 assist) after only having two assists in the first 25 games of the season. 

"We regrouped and we had a really good second and third period, said Pecknold. It's a good road win."

Alex Whelan as the puck heads to his stick (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The Bobcats final goal was thing of beauty. Karlis Cukste's outlet pass from the edge of the defensive circle found Kevin Duane alone for a breakaway which he buried glove side past Brown's Luke Kania. Three players that don't normally score goals helped propel Quinnipiac to this win. "We need goals, said Pecknold. Where they come from it doesn't matter."

Quinnipiac played strong defense in the third period and did a good job when the Bears pulled their goaltender with 8 minutes left in the game. It also helped having a strong performance in net from Shortridge who recorded his 3rd straight win and 5th in the last seven games that he played in. 

"We needed these two points, said Shortridge. This game was huge. We're definitely taking this win to build momentum into the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs." 

As Quinnipiac heads into the final two weekends of the regular season they currently sit in 9th place in the ECAC standings with 16 points but trail 5th place Colgate by only two points. These next two weeks will see a lot of jockeying for position in the middle of the ECAC. The Bobcats return home next weekend to face second place Union on Friday followed by 11th place RPI on Saturday which will be senior night. 

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